All four surgeries have access to an ultrasound machine. On occasions you will be asked to travel to another of the surgeries for your pet to have an ultrasound. If this is the case it will be explained to you at the time of booking the appointment.
An ultrasound examination, also known as ultrasonography, is a non-invasive imaging technique that allows internal body structures to be seen by recording echoes or reflections of ultrasonic waves. Unlike x-rays, which are potentially dangerous, ultrasound waves are considered to be safe as a narrow beam of high frequency sound waves is directed into the area of interest.
Ultrasound examinations are of little value in examining the bone, lung or the brain. But are excellent for examining the abdomen (gut, liver, bladder, spleen), a pregnancy or the your vet will inform you if this is the right decision for your pet undergoing treatment.
General anaesthesia is not usually required ultrasound examinations, unless biopsies are to be taken. The technique is totally painless and most dogs/cats will lie comfortably while the scan is being performed. Occasionally, if the animal is frightened, or moves excessively a sedative may be necessary.
We will also need to shave your pets fur to perform an ultrasound examination. Since ultrasound waves are not transmitted through air, it is imperative that the hand-held probe makes complete contact with the skin. In some cases, such as pregnancy diagnosis, it may be possible to get adequate images by moistening the hair with rubbing alcohol and applying a copious amount of water-soluble ultrasound gel.